Mental health has been quite a taboo topic for decades. In the past, it was often considered impolite conversation, or something that people should “keep to themselves”.
However, thanks to raised awareness, the last few years have seen an overhaul in the way that we understand mental health, and people are starting to understand that mental illness can be just as debilitating as physical illness.
Now, an additional stressful thing that tends to come hand in hand with suffering from a mental health condition is financial worry. I know I’ve had my fair share of this. After all, these illnesses can prevent you from working and can have a detrimental effect on your personal position as a result. So, to help you along the way, here are a few steps that you can take to keep yourself financially afloat during difficult times. Hopefully these help!
Talk to Your Employer
The taboo surrounding mental health in the past means that it’s something that many of us would feel reluctant to talk about with even our closest family, never mind our employer. But seeing as one in five people suffer from mental health problems in the UK, you should bear in mind that you’re probably not the only person in your workplace suffering from mental illness.
You can always talk to your employer on the topic if you are struggling and feel that you need to take time off work to recover or improve. It’s your employer’s responsibility to promote workplace wellbeing and this includes mental wellbeing! Not only will this allow them to ensure that you are paid statutory sick pay for the duration of your leave, but it means that they can work towards offering a helping hand or support network for when you return.
If your employer isn’t supportive or you don’t get along with your direct employer, try going to a higher up in the company. If not, talk to another employee, or even just decide on what is important. Your mental health, or your job?
Have Access to Emergency Funds
Sometimes it can take a little time to sort out sick pay, so you should always have access to some emergency funds that can tide you over until your payments come through. If you have savings, then that’s great! You can sit on those for a while! However, the majority of people who find themselves in this situation, don’t.
This is when pre qualified credit cards can come into play as a means of buying the essentials until you are back on your feet. There are also things like loans from family and friends, bank loans, overdrafts, etc. Things like that aren’t recommended but in an emergency, it can be good to explore all options.
Seek Professional Help
The sooner you seek professional help (like therapy, NHS or private) with your mental illness, the sooner you will be able to get back to work. Psychiatrists, doctors, and other professionals will be able to help seek the best course of treatment to suit your individual needs. This is good for your health and for your future, as you will be able to progress in the right direction towards feeling relatively your normal self again.
Of course, suffering from mental illness is a stressful and worrying experience for most. But there are certain steps that you can take to alleviate some of the pressure and lift some of the weight from your shoulders in an already difficult time. Hopefully this can help you along the way!